A small town of just under 1,000 residents, is located on the western shore of Hudson Bay. Some of the town's most famous inhabitants are polar bears, this of course leading to its famous nickname, Polar Bear Capital of the World. Humans first arrived in Churchill around 1000 A.D. (the Thule Peoples) with the first Europeans arriving around the 1600s with promises of the fur trade. Churchill has now evolved from an industrial fur trading centre to a ecotourism driven community.
There are two major ways to get into Churchill: airplane and train.
There are two airlines that fly into Churchill with varying schedules, Calm Air and Kivalliq Air. Both Calm Air and Kivalliq Air fly into Churchill from Winnipeg, among other cities in the region.
Taking the train to Churchill is much more affordable than flying, but takes much longer. VIA Rail serves Churchill with its Hudson Bay line that begins in Winnipeg. From Winnipeg the train takes about 36 hours. You have the option of staying in one of several different sleeper cars, or riding in economy class (depending on how much you want to pay) and trying to find two empty seats to fall asleep on. A viable solution for those who would like to get to Churchill relatively quickly, while not spending a relative fortune is flying from Winnipeg to Thompson, Manitoba, and then taking the train from there. Be warned that the airport in Thompson is not within walking distance of the train station, but there are plenty of taxi drivers waiting to give Churchill bound travelers a ride to the airport.
There is no road to Churchill; however, you can drive to Thompson and pay to park your car there, and continue by train or airplane.
It's quite easy to walk within the city limits on one's own. It's also possible to rent a car in Churchill, and there are several taxi drivers who tend to hang out around the airport and train station.
Polar Bears in their natural habitat.
Beluga Whales during the summer months in the Hudson Bay and Churchill River. There are a couple of tour operators who take small groups out in boats for a couple of hours to watch the whales. You can even rent a wetsuit and swim with the whales if the weather permits. The summer is also a fabulous time to go bird watching in Churchill.
Late November through late March is the perfect time to watch the Northern Lights. November is also one of the best times to see the world-famous Churchill polar bears.
There are a variety of tours to Churchill, specifically to see Polar Bears, Northern Lights and Buluga Whales. Tour companies with local offices include:
- Explorers' Corner
- Great White Bear Tours, ☎ 1-866-765-8344, . $400 per day. edit
- Natural Habitat Adventures, ☎ 1-800-543-8917, . From $4895 USD for 5 nights. edit
- Tundra Buggy (Frontiers North), ☎ 1-204-949-2050, . From $4999 for 5 nights. edit
- World Wildlife Fund, ☎ 1-888-WWF-TOUR, . $4995 USD for 5 nights in town or $6695 for 6 nights at the Tundra Lodge. edit
- Classic Canadian Tours, . edit
- Polar Bear International, . edit
- Gypsy's Bakery, Kelsey Boulevard, ☎ 204-675-2322. edit
- Seaport Hotel, Kelsey Boulevard, ☎ 204-675-8807. Hotel, restaurant, bar, lounge & vendor edit
- The Pier Beverage Room (Seaport Hotel). edit
- The Royal Canadian Legion (Branch #227), Hudson Square, ☎ 204-675-2272. edit
- Tundra Inn Lounge, 34 Franklin Street, Churchill, Manitoba R0B 0E0, Canada, ☎ (800) 265-8563, . edit
- Seaport Hotel, 299 Kelsey Blvd., ☎ 1-877-558-4555, . firstname.lastname@example.org edit
- Tundra Inn, 34 Franklin St., ☎ 1-800-265-8563, . (Open June through November) 31 spacious rooms with double or queen size beds; private bath and shower; cable television; phones; internet connection; coffee maker, hair dryers and in house laundry facilities. A kitchenette is available just off the lobby. Rated *** / ♦♦. edit
- Polar Bear Bed & Breakfast, 26 Hearne Street, ☎ 1-204-675-2819, . Closed from December to April. October & November: $70-$220; May to September: $50-$160. edit